Fees Must Fall activist opens case against Durban policeman

2017-06-28 17:41
Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile says the policeman who allegedly intimidated him in Berea, Durban, must face the music. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile says the policeman who allegedly intimidated him in Berea, Durban, must face the music. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

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Durban - After about two hours of going back and forth, Umbilo police finally succumbed to Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile's persistence to open a case against another policeman on Wednesday.

Khanyile, a Durban University of Technology student, told News24 that after filling a form at the police station's charge office at about 11:00, he was asked to go to the station commander's office where police allegedly tried to stop him from opening the case against a colonel apparently stationed at neighbouring Berea police station.

"Police called me to the station commander's office where they tried to talk to me not to open a case against their colleague. They said maybe he was just playing with me and we should speak. How can he play with me when he is the one who is responsible for sending me to jail for six months?" he asked.

Khanyile chose to open a case.

A few minutes later, a policeman came outside the same police station and asked Khanyile to at least apply for a protection order against the cop in question.

"I've already made up my mind; I'm opening a case," said Khanyile.


The policeman then led Khanyile back to the charge office where he opened a case.

Khanyile claimed the policeman he opened the case against had intimidated him while he was seated at a restaurant across the road from Berea Centre on Tuesday.

It is the same policeman who arrested him on September 26, 2016 during students' protests for free education, he said.

"We had ordered food at the restaurant with other cadres of the EFF Students Command when he came to us. He was also there to buy food. He started to intimidate us and told me that I should have spent six years in jail instead of six months," said Khanyile who in April graduated cum laude.

After opening the case, he said he would consult further with his lawyers "to see how we move the case forward".

It's not clear what charges the policeman would face. "They said they'll SMS me the case number," said Khanyile.

He said they would use the case as an example to other policemen who harass student activists across the country "time and time again.

"We are going to try by all means to make sure that the station commander faces the music. There must be consequences for his action. This is not the time of the apartheid era where police could harass students and get away with it," Khanyile said.

Khanyile first went to the Berea police station on Wednesday morning but he allegedly couldn't open the case there because police said the area the incident occurred at didn't fall under their jurisdiction.

Khanyile was granted bail of R250 in the Constitutional Court in March where he went to challenge the decisions by two lower courts to deny him bail after his arrest during the countrywide fees must fall marches.

Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that a case of intimidation has been opened for investigation at Umbilo.

"Investigations are continuing," she said.

On the allegations of intimidation by the accused policeman, Gwala said: "We cannot comment further as the case is still under investigation."

Read more on:    police  |  bonginkosi khanyile  |  durban  |  university fees  |  university protests

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